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Louise Koeckhoven

The power of happiness

Imagine, you are feeling amazing. The world smiles at you and you smile right back at it. You feel good, things play out as they should and you and life just became best buddies! At the same time, however, people around you loose their jobs, are stressed, sick, or hate the dark months of the year. In short, things just don’t exactly work out the way they want them to. They have just broken up their friendship with life and can only see it’s flaws. In this situation, what do we do? Do we still show our happiness? Are we proud of our success?

Often, we don’t. We sync with the other’s sorrow, we agree that life is one big shit show sometimes and we comment that it all isn’t fair! We support them in their sadness and feel our happy light dim bit by bit.

But uhm.. WHY?!

First of all, shouldn’t you have the right to be plain-out happy? And also, can’t we use that happiness to cheer others up?

Sounds amazing, but somehow, we feel it is not fair to throw our positive and shiny lives out there. We don’t want to rub it in anyone’s face. How can you show your fortune and success, when someone else feels terrible? There is this immense feeling of guilt; why do I get this success, didn’t the other deserve that just as well (or even more than me)? Why am I happy, while others are not? Why did this job fall into my lap, while someone else is applying for ages? And why did I get that compliment, when no one ever sees my colleague’s hard work? Sometimes we even feel like it would be better the other way around. We could handle the burden better.

Ok, well let’s stop with this useless way of thinking. Let’s put our positivism to use and infect others with it. Recently, one of my friends shared the following poem by Spike Milligan with me and it made me think…

Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel around the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected.
Let’s start an epidemic quickly,
and get the world infected

Instead of letting others infect us with their sadness and sorrow, why don’t we turn the world around and infect them with our smiles, our happiness, and our proof that life is full of opportunities? With every sad argument they give, counter it with a hopeful one, and with every tear or sigh they show, give them a warm smile or hug. A little joy never hurt anyone.

Simultaneously, when you feel sad, mad or bad, please don’t search for others to moan with. No, search for those who can cheer you up. Look for that magical sparkle in their eyes and let yourself be infected. If you cannot feel happy for yourself, at least feel it for someone else.

Let’s follow Spike Milligan’s poem and agree to make a change. Let’s all commit to not only staring at our phones or looking away when someone passes by on the street. Let’s lift our heads, look the other in the eye and give them a smile.. I’m sure you’ll be surprised at what you see.

Some won’t react,
are flustered and scared
or simply angry at you.
But just give them time,
some space to reveal
that they feel some happiness too.

More to explorer

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Name the 3 most important values that guide you, the 3 values that guide your choices, the roots of every step you take in life, and that make you walk away from things that don’t serve you anymore.

No more self-help books!

Think about it… how many self-help books do you have on your shelf at home? And how many did you actually finish,

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